My Personal Statement as of now, need critiques please

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Anonymous User
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My Personal Statement as of now, need critiques please

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:09 pm

Here it is, I omitted some potentially revealing info:

Complete silence.
Odd. The music was playing. But I couldn’t hear a thing. Not even the faintest sound. No lyric, chord, melody, beat or note could be heard.

“Dude, your left earbud must be broken,” I told my friend. However, after trying it on himself, he remarked, insouciantly, “works fine for me, dude”.

No drama. No explosions. Just casual and mundane. That’s how I learned that I had become deaf in my left ear.

In hindsight, my hearing deteriorated gradually–not in one shot. Over several months prior to the discovery of my unilateral deafness, voices on the phone sounded muffled. At the time, I merely thought the phone defective. Similarly, during face-to-face conversations, I constantly asked people to repeat themselves. Implausibly, I believed that my interlocutors failed to properly enunciate. Was it laziness? Kids these days?

Soon after the earbud incident, I went for an MRI. The weekend before the results, the weight of an unknown diagnosis proved excruciating. Predictably, I jumped to worst-case scenarios. Cancer. Brain cancer. What else could it possibly be?

Luckily, this nightmare did not materialize. Instead, I was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma, —Vestibular Shwannoma for the highfalutin—a rare benign tumor lodged on a nerve leading from my inner left ear to brain. The size of the tumor called for an immediate procedure and, as a result, I was precluded from attending classes during the semester of Fall XXX.

After a nine-hour operation and boatloads of anesthesia, I spent ten days in the hospital recuperating from physical disorientation. The hospital was dispiriting; my initial inability to walk short distances without getting nauseous and my being by far the youngest patient at the rehab center engendered acute mental distress.

Returning home–and convalescing near my dog and parents–lifted my spirits considerably. Over the subsequent two months, I regained my hand-eye coordination and physical agility, allowing me to return to the park and the weight room. Also, unlike some acoustic neuroma patients, my dizziness and facial paralysis–which temporarily interfered with my eyesight and sensory function (at one point, half of my mouth felt like it had been doused with novocaine)–proved only temporary. Though the tumor may possibly regrow, necessitating an additional operation, I am beyond fortunate to have avoided a permanent transformation of my facial features.

While in XXX the next semester, I interned at the intake department of the XXXX County Public Defender’s office. My job consisted in interviewing potential clients to determine their financial eligibility and glean their side of the story. During this time, I saw alleged rapists and domestic abusers capable of making a cynic of the most ardent civil libertarian, clients returning from methadone clinics with insatiable itches on their arms, mentally ill defendants no more capable of a guilty mind than Lennie from Of Mice and Men, and¬–most of all–ordinary people ensnared by the criminal justice system due to drug possession or suspended licenses.

From the other end of criminal law, the view looked similar. Interning at the XXX District Attorney’s office the following summer, I surveilled the social media accounts of individuals associated with local “crews.” Many of the targets were only teenagers.

Just as I struggled to hear my friends and family as my hearing degenerated, society at large fails to listen to defendants. Instead of addressing the root causes of violence and criminality, we incarcerate and probe. Moreover, unlike how my tumor will be monitored for recurrence, many defendants exit the criminal justice system lacking the means to establish productive lives and avoid recidivism.

The loss of my best friend–who was only 19–after his protracted battle with osteosarcoma, and my own experience only a year later, has been transformative. I have seen first hand, in short order, that many are beset by dire circumstances through absolutely no fault of their own. As an attorney, I will always remember this tumultuous period, which reinforced the notion that randomness is often determinative of life outcomes. But alas, for now, I am alive and I can hear!

Anonymous User
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Re: My Personal Statement as of now, need critiques please

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:51 pm

Any comments? Would be much appreciated

kellyjohnson

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Re: My Personal Statement as of now, need critiques please

Postby kellyjohnson » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:57 pm

It's disorganized. It goes from you losing your hearing, to something about working at the DA, to the loss of your best friend. These are all separate ideas and its not clear how or why you transition from one to the other. You talk a lot about losing your hearing, but then there is only one throw-away sentence about how that impacted you at the very end of the essay (and its combined with an odd tangent about the death of your friend).

The metaphor of you losing your hearing and "society at large fails to listen" is the best thing in the essay, but its just a throw-away line.

If you want to write about losing your hearing, then think a little more about how that impacted you. The lesson you learned in the essay, that "randomness plays a part in peoples lives" and that sometimes people face "circumstances beyond their control" is kind of a superficial observation that pretty much every college graduate is expected to recognize. Get deeper. It made you understand how important listening to people is. You took that to your work at the DA, and think it gives you a unique perspective compared to your peers (dont write this, but explain it). Etc. etc.

Cut down on the details of the anecdote. Do a better job of connecting it to your work at the DA's office. I would get rid of the loss of your best friend altogether, unless you are going to expand on it. I would suggest an outline that draws out how you are going to connect these things.

kellyjohnson

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Posts: 38
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: My Personal Statement as of now, need critiques please

Postby kellyjohnson » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:40 am

PM me. I will help you fix it.



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